All that time off could not be seen in Coosa volleyball’s first match in the Class AA state playoffs Tuesday.
The same Lady Eagles who tore through Area 3-AA came up big at home, rolling to their third straight Elite Eight appearance.
Coosa faced few struggles in the opening game but improved as the match went on, defeating Toombs County 25-16, 25-13, 25-11.
The home team prevailed thanks to control at the net and excellent serving.
“We started out a little slow, so we made sure the girls were talking and communicating,” Coosa coach Nic Hann said. “As they starting communicating, those little things started to fall into place and we just started to roll.”
Taylor Roberts and Kasey Thacker led Coosa with 12 kills each, while Thacker also led the team with four aces. Debra Barker led the team with 10 digs and 14 assists, and Tori Overby recorded nine kills and six digs.
Each game followed a pattern with Coosa getting a good start, letting things cool down until the midway point and then finishing the Lady Bulldogs. Toombs seemed to be down as the match went on while Coosa got stronger.
Despite going 17 days between matches, the Lady Eagles looked efficient as ever. Players like Thacker, Overby and Roberts dominated at the net and the team combined for 18 aces.
“For most of the past week, all we have worked on is serving,” Hann said. “Just working on the fundamental stuff so we can limit turnovers as much as possible.”
Coosa (39-9) began the first game with a 9-3 run, but Toombs fought back and got the score to 14-11 before Hann called a timeout. The Lady Eagles bounced back behind an emphatic home crowd, winning the next five points and eventually winning the game by nine.
Toombs County stayed in the second game for most of its length, but Coosa would finish on an 11-2 run to take a 2-0 lead. The Lady Eagles finished off the Bulldogs when it jumped out to a 10-1 lead in the third game and never looked back.
Despite a successful season, Hann had cited finishing games as one of Coosa’s few Achilles’ heels. That certainly was not a problem Tuesday, a welcome sign during the most important part of the season.
“Finishing has certainly been our weakness through the season,” Hann said. “So to see us finish with those big runs to end each game, that means a lot.”
The Lady Eagles now wait to find out who they play next as the GHSA ranks the remaining AA teams entering the quarterfinals before placing them in the championship bracket.
Whoever it is, Coosa will get ready by simply improving on the biggest thing it can control — itself.
“We just keep worrying about us. We don’t worry about who is on the other side of the net,” Hann said.